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Old 04-12-2019, 11:13 AM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
Elk Mound , Wisconsin
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Load Levelers

Greetings all;

This may have been covered before, but I need to hit it again. I have a 2014 Silverado 1500 to pull a 32 ft Soveriegn. I have a weight distribution hitch. However, I am looking into getting air bags or something like that to help out the rear suspension. I know that there are air bags that can be added to the rear springs, and other such devices.

My questions are, do I need them? What works?

Thanks for the input.

Jim G
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:25 AM   #2
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No. You will not need the airbags if you adjust your weight distribution hitch properly. The springs of the hitch will supplement the truck's leaf springs and they will also re-distribute weight to the front axle to give the truck a level ride.

Air bags are useful for heavy payloads. They can level your truck but they can't re-distribute weight.
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Old 04-12-2019, 04:09 PM   #3
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Aftermarket Bags do nothing for payload improvement or towing ability. They can only de-sag worn springs.🤔
A good pair of rear shocks and Polyurethane Suspension Bushings, depending on condition of what's on it now, would accomplish more.👍

Bob
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Old 04-12-2019, 05:30 PM   #4
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^^ no x 3 ^^
Get the hitch set up correctly, so that the trailer is level when the bars are tensioned PROPERLY.

First, does your hitch insert/ball mount have adjustable height? The height of the ball HAS TO BE CORRECT. If to high, it will contribute to excess weight on the truck's hitch!!

Read the Chevy Owners Manual, beginning on page 9-81.
Pay special attention to page 9-95, the section titled "Weight-Distributing Hitch Adjustment".

With a 1500 truck, you may have to re-distribute the load inside the trailer so that the tongue weight is close to 10% of the trailer's gross weight, not much heavier. Do not move weight behind the axles to balance (since this enhances sway). Load should be centered over the trailer's axles while the trailer is being towed. Removing stuff from the truck bed and putting it inside the trailer helps too.
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Old 04-18-2019, 07:51 AM   #5
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2016 30' Classic
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Airbags for F-250 ďrear squatĒ?

We tow a 30 foot 2016 Classic. When Iíve loaded up our 2012 F-250 truckís bed with all our gear and attached the trailer I see a distinct squat in the rear of the truck and the steering is a bit lighter than when unhitched. Iíve got a hundred pounds of hitch (AirHitch + Equalizer). Iíve moved the Equalizer trailer frame attachment up one setting without any improvement. My inclination is to have a Firestone rear airbag system installed on the rear axle. Itíll set us back $850, which prompts me to pause before taking the plunge. My brother who is a heavy-equipment operator says the bags are a standard solution to truck squat. Thoughts?
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:27 AM   #6
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Seems to me if the steering is noticeably light, your WD isn’t set up right. You might want to revisit unhitched ball height, hitch angle and bar weight capacity. Air bags will help with “squat,” but will also do squat for weight redistribution to your steer axle.
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Old 04-18-2019, 12:37 PM   #7
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Load Levelers

Using airbags to level the rear with a light front end will not get more weight on the front of the tow vehicle.

You are just not getting enough WD to get the front end properly loaded. Air bags will probably make it worse.
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Old 04-18-2019, 01:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmslawson View Post
We tow a 30 foot 2016 Classic. When Iíve loaded up our 2012 F-250 truckís bed with all our gear and attached the trailer I see a distinct squat in the rear of the truck and the steering is a bit lighter than when unhitched. Iíve got a hundred pounds of hitch (AirHitch + Equalizer). Iíve moved the Equalizer trailer frame attachment up one setting without any improvement. My inclination is to have a Firestone rear airbag system installed on the rear axle. Itíll set us back $850, which prompts me to pause before taking the plunge. My brother who is a heavy-equipment operator says the bags are a standard solution to truck squat. Thoughts?
There are 3 ways you can level the truck: Use airbags, use the weight distribution hitch, or re-distribute the trailer and/or truck load.

First I would look at the load distribution. Do you have anything excessively heavy in the front of the trailer or the back of the truck that you can move? If not then I would go up another notch or two on the equalizer hitch. This will take load off the rear of the truck and put load back onto the front of the truck. That might make the steering feel less light.

All the air bags can do is level the truck, but you will still be stuck with the same weight distribution and it will do nothing for your steering.
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